Review of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind!
If you asked your favorite anime in Ghibli film, what’s your favorite?
Yes, commonly asked question!
Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castles?
Each one is great and I like them very much!
But if asked, I would say Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind!
Since I was a child, at least, more than 5 times or maybe 10 times I’ve watched it.
I know this anime is not famous like others in overseas but it is really great work by Hayao Miyazaki.
If you like Princess Mononoke, I highly recommend you this film.
Here I introduce Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind with its rough summary.
※ All the images I use here are the images that got permission from Studio Ghibli
- 1. Summary of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
- 2. What is Giant God Warriors?
- 3. What is the Sea of Corruption?
- 4. Ending of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
- 5. Secret Story of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind!
- 5.1. Hayao Miyazaki was against Filmizaion
- 5.2. The Ending was not what Hayao Miyazaki wanted
- 6. My personal Impression about Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
- 6.1. Nausicaa always risk her life to save others
- 6.2. The theme is not old even now
- 7. Summary
Summary of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Humans prospered once but were destroyed everything they made by giant warriors.
Human civilization was destroyed in the Seven Days of Fire caused by these giant warriors.
1000 years passed since then and the earth’s surface was polluted, covered by the Sea of Corruption.
There were still some places humans could live and survivors were living there.
One of the safe places people could live in was the Valley of the Wind.
Nausicaa is the princess of the Valley of the Wind.
People were afraid of the Sea of Corruption, the miasma it creates, the big insects and creatures live in there.
But Nausicaa frequently went into the Sea of Corruption and loved the big insects live in there.
She was not just hanging out in the Sea of Corruption but tried to get a clue of the miasma there.
The Valley of the Wind was a peaceful village but one day invaded by a powerful country called Tolmekia.
Their target was to bring a giant warrior back to life and destroy the Sea of Corruption including creatures live in there.
They demanded them to surrender and to cooperate with them.
Nausicaa was eaten up with anger as her father was killed by the soldiers and tried to fight back.
But her mentor and master Yupa went between them, stopped the fight.
He whispered Nausicaa not to fight as her citizens are all killed if she and others fight back now.
He told Nausicaa to wait for an opportunity.
Nausicaa calmed down and followed his advice and was taken away by a big aircraft of Tolmekia but the aircraft was shot down by a fighter of another enemy country on the way.
Nausicaa managed to run away using Gunship, which was a small fighter plane of her village.
It was loaded in the aircraft.
She even helps the imperial princess who instructed her soldiers to invade Valley of the Wind and fly away with her.
They make an emergency landing in the deep Sea of Corruption where big insects and creatures live.
There, Nausicaa realizes the reason the deep Sea of Corruption exists and moves to stop people fighting each other.
What is Giant God Warriors?
Here in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Giant God Warriors are one of the keys.
By the way, don’t you remind of something by looking at the Giant Warriors?
Blue and big robot like a human being.
Hideaki Anno, who is the director of Evangelion, was in charge of the original drawing of Giant God Warriors.
He had been working under the director of Hayao Miyazaki in those days.
I can say the original model or inspiration came from this Giant God Warrior.
Sorry, I get back on track.
Live embryo of Giant God Warrior was found in the underground of Pejite city.
Tolmekian got the information and invaded Pejite city to use the Giant God Warrior as a weapon.
After taking the live embryo of the Giant God Warrior away, they were going back to their empire but the airship couldn’t hold the heavyweight of the embryo and crash-land in the Valley.
In the latter half of the film, Tolmekian’s Princess Kushana used the Giant God Warrior as a weapon to destroy a swarm of Ohms (Very big wild louce).
But it did not fully bring back its life, so melted down shortly after firing a couple of proton beams.
What was the Giant God Warrior after all?
Just in 7 days, the Giant God Warriors destroyed most of all the human civilizations.
So strong power which mankind can not control.
They might have been a symbol of what is now called nuclear weapons.
Even after 1000 years, humans try to repeat the same mistake.
In the film, role of the Giant God was just a melting powerful weapon.
Do not speak or think but in comic, it has a will and plays a role of arbitrator.
It judges everything including humans.
Here I don’t go further as it takes long but the depictions of the Giant God Warriors are very different from that of anime film.
What is the Sea of Corruption?
Because of the existence of The Sea of Corruption, people can not live except for certain places.
Plants in The Sea of Corruption caused miasma and polluted the world, people thought.
If they inhale the miasma, their lungs are rotten in 5 minutes actually.
People could not prosper as long as there is The Sea of Corruption on the earth.
That’s why Tolmekian’s Princess Kushana first tried to use the Giant God Warrior to burn down the Sea of Corruption.
That is, she tried to conquer nature by using the power of the Giant God Warrior.
But Nausicaa already got the clue behind it.
She was researching the plants.
She frequently went to the Sea of Corruption and brought back the plants.
She had been growing them in the basement.
It was a very dangerous thing to do as they make miasma but the plants she grew never make the miasma.
She knew clear groundwater and the soil are the key.
When she got swallowed in the deep Sea of Corruption and to find herself alive without a protective mask, she understands the Sea of Corruption.
It was not true that the Sea of Corruption creates the miasma, rather, it was the one which purified the world.
The trees in the Sea of Corruption inhaled the poison of the earth and changed it into the clear crystal sand.
The Sea of Corruption and big insects lived in there were existing to protect the forest from the destroyer and to purify the pollution.
Ending of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Nausicaa tried to protect the Sea of Corruption and living creatures living in there.
People kept fighting each other and finally make the guardians oham mad.
They used baby oham as a decoy.
The baby oham was breeding all over and were taking away in the direction of the Valley of the Wind.
Soldiers of Pejite were going to revenge Tolmekian army in the Valley of the Wind by making use of a swarm of mad ohams that run after the baby oham.
Nausicaa cried hard as she watched the baby oham and she stopped their action.
There was no way to calm down the mad ohams anymore.
She orders the soldiers to take her and baby oham down to the swarm of mad ohams.
It is very dangerous action, rather killed but she insists to do so.
Nausicaa and the baby oham stand right in front of the swarm of ohams that are rushing down toward the Valley of the Wind and she was being heavily hit.
The people in the Valley of the Wind who watched the scene cried.
She was dead.
But suddenly the motion of all the ohams stopped and the color of their eyes changed from mad red into calm blue.
They scooped up Nausicaa using their feelers from the ground.
She comes back to life and now stand on the sea of yellow feelers, happily walking around.
“After a thousand years of darkness, he will come, clad in blue and surrounded by fields of gold to restore mankind’s connection of the Earth that was destroyed.”
This was a legend an old woman in the village told Nausicaa and others.
And she now realizes that Nausicaa is the one.
Secret Story of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind!
I think everyone knows Hayao Miyazaki as long as you like Ghibli films.
And Hayao Miyazaki is the one who made Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
Here I introduce the story of Hayao Miyazaki for filmizaion of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Hayao Miyazaki was against Filmizaion
Hayao Miyazaki was against making the film of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind first.
Before the film, he was making Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in Animage, which was an anime magazine.
It was a long story (it took him 12 years to complete) and the story was not ended at the time.
He was drawing it without the intention of filmization and that’s the prerequisite he proposed to keep drawing in Animage.
That’s why he was against the fimmizaion when he got an offer of making Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind into a film.
If you are a big fan of Ghibli, you understand why he was against it.
Anyway, after a long negotiation, he finally accepted it and was released in 1984.
The Ending was not what Hayao Miyazaki wanted
In the ending, Nausicaa stands in front of a swarm of ohams to stop them and she was hit.
But bring back to her life after the healing by a swarm of ohams.
This was not the ending Hayao Miyazaki wanted first actually.
He was going to finish the film at the scene where ohams stopped rushing at the sacrifice of Nausicaa.
There was no mercy, so other core members persuaded him hours and it became the ending we know today.
Actually, I’m for the ending of Hayao Miyazaki first suggested.
Because there is still a margin we can imagine after her sacrifice.
But, yes, I also understand the side of the business.
Most people might have had complaints if it were not a happy ending and could not become a big hit.
If it was now, that ending was OK, I think, but in those days, good was good and bad was bad.
Most anime were much more simple like hero beats villain and finish.
The main character dies at the sacrifice of her life was unacceptable.
So there was no way other than a happy ending.
My personal Impression about Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Nausicaa always risk her life to save others
This is a story of anime but I really respect Nausicaa since I was a child.
She always tries to think of others before her.
Not only humans but also nature and creatures live there she loves.
And try to save both humans and nature including insects even if it risk her own life.
She really wanted to revenge her father but followed her master’s advice to save the lives of all the citizens.
People were getting mad for the enemy’s attack but they listened to her request as they knew she was the very one who had the right to get mad after having killed her father right in front.
When she flew away from the crashing airship, she did not abandon even a princess Kushana, who conquered her village.
When citizens got panic in the Sea of Corruption, she took her protective mask off and instructed them what they need to do right now in a clear voice with a smile.
That was risky for her as miasma could destroy her lungs within 5 minutes but to make them calm down and save them from the situation, she pretended to be everything is OK.
She also had a true nature of lord.
She might look like the Holy Mother but was still 16.
And like stopped by her master Yupa, she was beside herself with anger when she witnessed the scene her father was killed although no one could stay calm under such a situation, I think.
The theme is not old even now
The world of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is not the story of another world.
It strongly reflects our world.
Humans try to conquer and destroy nature and keep fighting each other saying we are justice even now.
There might be even a chance of using an awful weapon of the Giant God Warriors, that is, nuclear weapons, which could reduce our countries and the whole civilization to ashes instantly in the future.
The miasma and protective mask might even reflect measure against the virus today.
Nausicaa tried to protect both sides of humans and nature with love which could risk her life instead of violence.
In Princess Mononoke, I remember Ashitaka asked the people
“Isn’t there any way both sides live together?”
The core theme of Nausicaa was taken over in Princess Mononoke.
Music by Joe Hisaishi was just so great!
Joe Hisaishi was the person in charge of the music of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
Not only Nausicaa but most of all films of Ghibli until today, he handles the music.
Their first meeting was 1983, when he was invited to Hayao Miyazaki’s workplace in Tokyo for the music of Nausicaa.
He did not resort to the melody and until now hardly ever wrote a pure melody like those of Naucicaa after that, he said in an interview for the pamphlet of a big live concert that held in 2008.
I can not explain how great it was but from the above video, you can watch the live concert and listen to the music used in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind with the animation.
That is Studio Ghibli 25 Years Concert by Joe Hisaishi held in 2008.
The conductor and pianist is the Joe Hisaishi
I really wanted to go to this live concert but even just watching the video makes me cry (T-T)
Now in July 2020, you can watch 4 Ghibli films in Japan.
Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Tales from Earthsea and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
I’ve watched other 3 films when they had shown at a theater.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is the oldest and had been shown 36 years ago, so there was no way I could watch it.
But since I was a child, I kept watching it on TV many times and even read the comics at the time.
I remember that the comics went far deeper and very different from anime film that I could not understand the story at the time.
It was really a masterpiece took Hayao Miyazaki 12 years to finish (During the period, 4 times he had to stop working for it as he also had been making other Ghibli anime films as you know).
36-year-old film but the message never get old, rather, appeals strongly to us in this era.
Source of Images
https://www.ghibli.jp/works/nausicaa/ (Director : Hayao Miyazaki, Producer : Toshio Suzuki)
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